Canton Digs Out After the February 2013 Blizzard

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Sunday update

While we have a newer story posted for Sunday, many readers posted great photos here so we are using it as our main storm gallery. See others in our pics and clips section as well as this earlier gallery


Update 4:30 p.m. 

Town crews continue to work on Canton roads and hope to have all open this evening by approximately 8 p.m., Public Works Director Robert Martin said. 

"We're going to work to re-open all our roads tonight," Martin said. "We're asking people to be patient and know we'll get to them." 

In many cases the roads may not be "pretty" but crews will be back in at 5 a.m. tomorrow to start again, Martin said. In addition, a few employees will stay overnight to accompany any emergency vehicles if necessary. 

Saturday evening, the town had a full crew out, including custodians and contractors. On the road were four full-sized trucks, 3 pickups, four loaders and three bobcats. 

On Sunday, crews will also work on improving roads and opening community center and school parking lots. 

Gov. Dannel Malloy lifted the state travel ban at 4 p.m. and Canton's main roads are fairly clear but Martin urged people to stay home if they can, especially since cold temperatures may make for some icy conditions Saturday night. 

Update 11:50 a.m. 

While Canton's Public Works crews are still on the roads, digging out is a slow process, First Selectman Richard Barlow said.

Town officials have reached out to the state and Connecticut National Guard but resources are limited. The town was able to get a couple pieces of equipment from Canton Village Construction and now has two front-end loaders and two backhoes to help plow drivers. 

"They're basically breaking through the intersections and breaking down the high spots," Barlow said. 

Canton crews were able to help a responding ambulance at Boulder Ridge and residents should still call 9-1-1 for true emergencies. 

Barlow urges people to continue to stay off the roads. The state's ban on highway travel has helped, he added. 

The town has also offered these tips: 

The Town of Canton Department of Public Works continues to clear roads as quickly as possible. Residents are urged to shelter in place and remain off the roads. Ensure all vents to your house are free from snow blockage. If you need to run a generator, make sure it is operated outside and away from your house to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Residents requiring emergency assistance are urged to call 911 or 860-693-0221 for routine matters. 

Earlier story 

After pulling plows off the road late Friday night, town crews are in full force this morning but First Selectman Richard Barlow said it's going to take some time to clear the roads. 

"We ask people to be patient," he said. "It's going to be a while." 

The first priority is the main roads and some are impassable. 

"The guys are all out on their individual routes," Barlow said. "We want to get the main roads open." 

In many cases a pay loader is clearing snow ahead of the plows. 

It's going to be even longer before crews get to all the secondary roads and there is a lot of snow in the intersections, Barlow added. He urges people to stay home and be patient. 

"Please help us by staying off the roads," he said. 

In the event of an emergency, the town will use its crews to assist, he said, adding to that good news is people

Barlow was out with a town crew late last night. He said it was about 11:30 p.m. the truck was coming down Indian Hill.

"You could barley figure out where you were," he said, adding that huge snow drifts were present on Route 179, after it had been scraped bare just hours earlier. 

It was about then, officials decided to bring the crews inside. 

Snow that started about 9 a.m. Friday continued to fall throughout the day and night, leaving Canton under piles of snow.

The following are among the places that have already announced they will be closed Saturday. 

  • Canton Public Library 
  • CrossFit Legitimus
  • Gallery on the Green
  • Valley Sports Center
  • The Family Winter Survival event at Roaring Brook canceled
  • Canton Transfer Station 
  • Canton Barn auction
  • Junior Race Development Program at Ski Sundown rescheduled to Sat. March 2

ACE Hardware is trying to open this morning. Stay tuned. ShopRite is open this morning. 

"A team of associates stayed in the store overnight and we are available for emergency needs," owner Chuck Joseph said. 

Saturday is all about digging out and getting power restored to those who lost it. The excessive snow accumulation also creates some safety issues.

The state Department of Construction has issued this warning:

Homeowners and business owners that "should be alert to signs of increased stress due to snow and ice overloading. Visible signs such as new or enlarged cracks in walls, sagging roof lines, or water leaks may be indications of excessive snow accumulation. If such signs are observed, an owner may want to remove some snow accumulation to relieve the load on their roof. Extreme caution should be taken to insure personal safety and to avoid damage to the roof while removing ice and snow. 

"Also, vents, air intakes or exhausts for appliances such as boilers, furnaces, hot water heaters, generators or clothes dryers may become blocked by drifting or accumulated snow. Blocked openings have the potential to cause carbon monoxide to build up in buildings. This is a greater concern for direct vented appliances whose discharge vents and air intakes are located near the ground where much higher snow accumulation could occur due to drifting. Snow should be cleared away from openings."

Julie Frost Ausere February 09, 2013 at 10:41 PM
Little skeptical of this happening given that several of the streets in our area still have 2 feet of snow and have not been touched!!
chistina February 10, 2013 at 11:55 AM
I am so grateful to the crews that have been out working and will continue to work to help us dig out of this storm...they must be exhausted. I would leave some brownies in the mailbox if I could get to it.
Thomas February 11, 2013 at 01:10 PM
This town is not ready for a free lunch!!!


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